Memorandum of Conversation, by the Director of the Office of British Commonwealth and Northern European Affairs (Raynor)1

  • Subject:
  • Congressional Bills (S 3381 and HR 8954) to authorize an Antarctic Expedition
  • Participants:
  • Commander Finn Ronne, USNR
  • Miss Florence Kirlin, H2
  • Mr. John Hanes, S3
  • Hayden Raynor, BNA
  • Grant G. Hilliker, BNA

Commander Ronne called at his request on the suggestion of Mr. Martin of the White House,4 with whom he had met a few days earlier, to discuss his plans for an Antarctic expedition and the Bills introduced by Senator Case and Mr. Tollefson to authorize such an expedition.

Following Commander Ronne’s statement of the purposes of his proposed expedition I remarked that the Department of State agreed with him on the desirability of continuing US activity in the Antarctic. At the present time he might be interested to know, in confidence, that proposals presented by the interested agencies were under consideration at a high level in the Government.5 His plans would appear to fit into the proposals in question. In response to his mention of possible US claims, I said that regardless of what might be done it was my understanding that expeditions would still be required in order to maintain existing United States rights in the Antarctic.

Commander Ronne stated that there was a good deal of interest in his proposals in other agencies of the Government and in Congress, although he understood that the Department of Defense comment on the Case-Tollefson Bill would not be as favorable as he had hoped. Mr. Hilliker noted that with regard to Antarctic activities there was frequently the difficulty of making sure that such interest was translated into financial terms. In reply to Commander Ronne’s question whether the Department could influence the Department of Defense to make a more favorable comment on the Bills in question, I said that the position of the Executive Branch of the Government was presently being coordinated by the Budget Bureau. I thought that the Defense Department was aware of this Department’s views on the general subject of Antarctic activities and that it concurred in them, at least in principle. We would undertake to make sure, however, that there was no lack of information. Mr. Hanes agreed that it would be desirable to contact the [Page 1739] Defense representatives on the Ad Hoc Committee on Antarctica for this purpose.

(The foregoing conversation was discussed by Mr. Hilliker with Commander Schratz6 the same day and it was decided that no further communication with Defense was needed as to the Department’s views.)

Hayden Raynor
  1. Drafted by Hilliker.
  2. Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations.
  3. Special Assistant to the Secretary of State.
  4. Presumably I. Jack Martin, Administrative Assistant to the President.
  5. The Ad Hoc Committee on Antarctica (formerly the Ad Hoc Group on Antarctica; see the editorial note, p. 1733) at its Fourteenth Meeting on Feb. 19, 1954, had reached general agreement on a draft National Security Council Staff Study on Antarctica. Following a series of drafting sessions, work was completed on the draft Staff Study at the Fifteenth Meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee on Mar. 9. The draft study was circulated to the Bureau of European Affairs on Mar. 16 under cover of a memorandum by G. Hayden Raynor of the Bureau of British Commonwealth and Northern European Affairs to James C. H. Bonbright. At the Sixteenth Meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee on Antarctica, May 4, 1954, the Department of State representatives “reported that the draft policy paper prepared by the Committee had been submitted to the Planning Board of the NSC and was presently under consideration.” Documentation on these developments is in file 702.022.
  6. Presumably Cmdr. Paul R. Schratz, U.S. Navy.